On Saturday April 1st, Twitter began taking down its previous legacy checkmark program. (No, it wasn’t a joke.) Twitter has already added 2 other verification checkmarks in addition to Twitter Blue, including the Verification for Organizations/gold checkmark and Verification for Government/gray checkmark. We will review the features and differences between Twitter Blue and Verification for Organizations below.
Twitter Blue/the blue checkmark, released December 12, 2023, is between $8-$11/month for individual accounts. Top features include editing Tweets, longer video uploads, and Tweet character limits, and (possibly) priority display in reply chains.
Verification for Organizations/the gold checkmark will be $1,000/month for an organization with $50/month per affiliate account. An affiliate is any account the organization wants to associate with their brand (i.e., “leadership, brands, support handles, employees, or teams” as Twitter states). In addition to all the Twitter Blue features, the gold checkmark will give the organization new dashboard access and premium support as well as the Twitter Blue features. Twitter’s top 10,000 most-followed organizations and 500 biggest advertisers will be able to get the gold checkmark free.
It’s clear that Twitter’s model has shifted to a pay-to-play/pay-to-be-visible model. They are banking on organizations’ competitiveness to be verified because there is no decided platform that can replace it. (While Mastodon is making its way up, it’s still more complicated to use and a little niche-y with mostly tech-savvy users so far.)
Beyond the Twitter visibility factor, there are other considerations for choosing to pay-in or opt-out of the new verification policy. There’s the well-known fake account problem and the platform’s traffic decline to take into account. There’s concern about how verification may lessen the value of visibility on the platform: the Twitter feed may be seen more as promotional advertising… a feed of people willing to pay for verification means a limited set of voices for users to hear. Some organizations, including The New York Times, are decidedly against the Twitter subscription plans.
Ultimately, this is a Twitter user/organizational decision. From DBE’s perspective, you may want to take a moment before verifying. With changes happening so quickly, we don’t know if/how the prices or subscription models will continue to change. We don’t know who and how many organizations will jump on the verification bandwagon. We will be keeping a close eye on developments and suggest you do, too. Please let us know if you have any questions or thoughts. We will be happy to help.